Exploring search interfaces for trip planners
Planning for a holiday requires the knowledge of the destination, duration, budget and the kind of experience sought. Travel planner often use these variables for package search.
At Design for Use, I sought out to explore alternative experiences to current holiday planning and travel search under these categories - flight, holiday and deals.
People generally form a map of there surroundings in their minds with approximate distances and direction. My concept uses a mental map of the world with destinations placed radially based on approximate flight durations.
This flight search uses a cube model where the users can use filter their holiday destinations based on their expected experience; and join cities and add travel dates on the mental map itself without having to leave the UI.
Holiday search receives two types of users - with and without a destination in mind. After filtering destination, the search page shows imagery from the destination with a proposed itinerary of the trip. The searches can be saved on to a 'chest' to be reviewed and compared with one another later.
The search filters the holidays based on these 2 questions 'What kind of holidayer are you?' and 'What kind of experience do you seek?'. Few possible answers to this could be - single, couple in love, married with children, family and relatives; looking for adventure, serene, beach, religious and so forth.
The first concept was a grid based design where widgets can be added, moved or closed on the UI. This smart interface understands the users previous request and rearranges itself to show the best options for the user. When users starts a string of data in the search form on the fixed search box, widgets appear and disappear based on what the user is currently looking for.
The second concept, scroll, is essentially searching on a fare-calendar. The user can filter his travel details on the top and see the prices of the cheapest deals on the the calendars. He can then save, compare, confirm and book his flights here. It becomes pretty convenient when the user is looking for the most economic way to travel.
The concept bubble is a fluid interaction where the user has to input his requirements using various fun filters like his mood, budget or driving distance. Deal bubbles of various sizes and colors (based on the filters) poplulate the screen. The user can view and save the deals simply by dragging and dropping the bubbles onto his deals chest.